On Friday, June 3rd, Belgium play Turkey in Brussels. There’s a lot at stake in this game.
Oh sure, Turkey’s Euro qualification depends upon it. But that’s not we care about. Much more important to us is that Chelsea’s future may also be riding on the outcome of the match.
Two key people will be in the stadium that day, people seen as vital to Chelsea’s growth and aspirations.
The first we all know about. He’s Guus Hiddink, Turkey’s manager. Hiddink is proud of never having broken a contract. If Turkey wins, they might yet qualify for the Euro 2012 finals. In 2010 Hiddink signed a 2-year contract with Turkey. So as long as Turkey are alive in the Euro, Guus will be by the Bosphorus.
But what if Turkey lose to Belgium? Ah, that’s the scenario that has the rumor mill churning away full time. The chattering classes claim that if les Belges derail Turkey, Guus will be ditched. And guess who’s supposedly waiting in the tunnel to offer him his next job? His #1 fan, Roman Abramovich. Despite Guus’ failures with the Russian and (presumably) Turkish national teams, Roman’s crush on him is undying. Love is forever, right?
So the identity of Chelsea’s future manager (or sporting director) depends on the outcome of next Friday’s match.
The other key figure at the Roi Baudouin Stadium is Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku. The 18 year-old has been courted by Chelsea for going on two years, now. He’s big, he’s strong and he reminds people of Didier Drogba. He also scores a bit: this season he has 20 goals in 49 matches in all competitions for his club, Anderlecht. Plus 2 goals in 9 matches for his country.
And that’s where the rumors are flying again. It’s said that after the Turkey match Lukaku will be sold to Chelsea. The price tag will be in the area of £20 million. Now, bear in mind that the source for this rumor is the Daily Mail, a newspaper more interested in headlines than facts.
Nevertheless, if you’re a Chelsea supporter with time on his hands next Friday, you could do worse than watch the Belgium-Turkey match. It could be a sneak peek at Chelsea’s future.